Business Process Management (BPM) = Robust Project Pipelines after the Low-Hanging Fruit is Harvested
So, what does Business Process Management (BPM) mean to you if your organization has already gone headstrong into lean, six sigma or other improvement efforts? What does it mean to you if the efforts have really produced some good results? Think you dont need it and should move on? You may want to think again .
I constantly talk with people and hear some variation of .
We got a lot of great results from our program (Lean, Six Sigma, Quality, CI, etc) for the first couple years, everyone was excited and motivated, but now the program seems to be running out of steam. Results and participation are falling, interest in waning, and we cant figure out why.
There are, of course, many potential causes for this, but one of them seems to be pretty consistent. There is no real project pipeline and project prioritization approach. What happens? People dont really know what to work on so they dont do anything or, maybe worse, they start working on squeaky wheel projects that have little or no impact on the business, and may even have a negative impact. If this happens, I can assure you that it is a recipe for disaster for any business improvement program.
If you build that BPM framework, you will have a clear view of what really matters to the business and metrics to gauge your success in improving those things. A pipeline of business cases and projects can be built based on measurable performance gaps and those projects will, by definition, have clear line of sight to things that really matter. A clear prioritization scheme then keeps things practical and real.
If you have a clear list of projects that are absolutely aligned with the things that matter most to the business and you have a way to prioritize improvement efforts, do you think an improvement program is likely to fizzle? I think not.
So, give BPM a second look, even if youre well into an improvement program. It doesn’t have to be a complicated, drawn out task. If you’re just getting started, you can and should build it in stages, while you’re picking up some of those low hanging fruit projects. If you have a mature effort, you can still build it in manageable stages by prioritizing the different areas of the business. In the medium to long run, it might be the difference between your improvement program being a flavor of the month initiative and a long-term, strategic value-add component of the way you do business.
Contact me if youd like to discuss BPM and your organization in more detail.